Volume 93, Issue x

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


Report gets council's consent

Cigarette warning labels get graphic

Millennium money worries student group

Hockey funds score harsh critique

Mayor gives positive prognosis

Networks gain $13 million from feds

The flu blues


Bass Ackwards

Millennium money worries student group

By Lindsay Satterthwaite
Gazette Staff

The Canadian Millennium Scholarships may be more of a hindrance than a help, according to student lobbyists who claim the money may have adverse effects.

Kieran Green, communications co-ordinator of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, said unfair taxation is a problem with the scholarship. "Students can only claim up to $500 while still protected from income tax," he said, adding anything over $500 would be deemed taxable income.

"A small number of students in certain tax situations, may end up owing more in taxes because of the extra income," Green said.

However, Jean LaPierre, director of communications for the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation, said despite Green's concern, students will benefit from the scholarships. "When students fill out their tax forms, their income won't be too high so it shouldn't really affect them," he said.

LaPierre said the scholarships would not be taxed until the 2000 tax year, which is 2001. He added with this one year period, the issue of taxation is not final. "As of right now, [the scholarships] are being taxed," he said, explaining lobby groups are pressuring the federal government to stop taxing the grants.

"The scholarship is to provide debt relief to approximately 35,000 students in Ontario," LaPierre said. He added the money would be directly deducted from their Ontario Students' Assistance Program loan.

Elizabeth Hart, a tax preparer at H&R Block, confirmed any scholarship or bursary over $500 is taxable. "Students can earn up to $6,794 before being taxed under personal income." Anything above this amount is subject to 17 per cent federal tax plus provincial tax, she said.

CASA is currently lobbying to have the deductible limit on scholarships raised by the federal government from the $500 rate to $5,000, Green said. He added the cost of living has increased over 100 per cent in the last 30 years.

Mark Kissel, VP-education for the University Students' Council, said there was a large misconception that the scholarships would be tax free when students were informed of the money.

Herman Chan, a second-year journalism student at Carleton University, said he was unaware his scholarship would be taxed. "The government really should give more information," he said.

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